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I want to stream video (compressed, ~20Mbps) from at least six raspberry pi zeros, each of which has a 10/100 USB ethernet adaptor, to a central PC with a 10/100/1000 port. All of the nodes will be connected with a single gigabit switch. I have gathered from posts like this one that modern switches are able to "autonegotiate" links between nodes such that each link uses the highest possible speed. However, it is unclear to me whether that means:

  1. The 1000/100/10 node will be limited to 100Mbps net bandwidth across all connections, or
  2. The switch will negotiate separate 100Mbps connections between the central node and each streaming node, allowing greater utilization of the central node's 1000Mbps bandwidth
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Yes, you can do what you're asking. Packets will come into the switch from the 100Mbps Raspberry Pis at 100Mbps, and the switch will send them out to the central PC at 1Gbps.

Your six 20Mbps streams, combined, will only occupy about 1/8th of the PC's gigabit of bandwidth. So you could hook up over 40 of these Raspberry Pis this way before you'd start to hit the limit of the PC's gigabit connection to the switch.

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